Research Proposals

You will submit a research proposal that guides your seminar essay and your web project . In four paragraphs,

1. Present a text or set of texts to examine a research question about these texts or about an idea or concept they raise.

2. Consider an angle or method for approaching the subject. (See my suggestions for “angles” or “methods” in the assignment guidelines.)

3. Examine the motives for your research and how you will contributes to a scholarly or intellectual conversation about the relationship between nineteenth-century fiction and the human brain or mind. (See Kerry Walk’s “motivating moves” and Mark Gaipa’s “8 Ways to Engage Sources”–both on our “Documents” page).

4. Identify possible sources that you will need to address your research question.

Important dates:

Note: We’ll treat this process as if you are submitting your project for publication or for grant funding.You will keep revising until you’ve convinced me that you have a viable proposal that outlines a solid and manageable plan for your project. Once you have a solid proposal, writing the essay will be much easier than it would have been without it. You may find that I am somewhat relentless during this process, but I hope it will be helpful for you ultimately.

April 1: Project proposal workshop (in class).
April 6: Send a draft of your project proposal to your writing group.
April 8: Send feedback on your peers’ proposals, using the feedback guidelines I’ll provide.
April 10: Send me your revised proposal by email. I’ll send you feedback. You will revise until I give you the go-ahead to proceed with the project.

Research Projects

Each student will complete an essay for a course website we’ll build together–an online anthology of your essays.

In your essay, you will make an argument about how nineteenth-century fictional texts and psychological or scholarly ones illuminate each other with regard to a question about a particular aspect of the brain, mind, or mental experience–for example, dreams, hypnotic states, desire, consciousness, or relationships between mind and body. Your job will be to identify texts that ask related questions about some aspect of psychology and then explain to readers how each text can help us understand the other–as well as the question(s) they share.

Your research projects will involve two related tasks: 1. You’ll write a research-based essay based on course readings and independent research and 2. You’ll adapt this essay into a component of a course web site featuring the work of all students in the seminar.

You will complete your essays in stages, including a proposal, annotated bibliography, a draft, and a revision for our web project. You will work in writing groups, offering each other feedback throughout the process. Essays should be 1,500 – 2,000 words, organized into a series of pages readable in web format, integrating relevant visual material, links, or video. I will assign two grades–one for the draft (25%) and one for the completed project (75%).

PART ONE: RESEARCH ESSAY

To make a strong argument, you’ll need an angle, or method. Consider some of the following possibilities:

  • An examination of one or more fictional works through the lens of a prominent theory about the relationships between literature and psychology (for example: Lisa Zunshine’s argument about “mind reading” or Shuttleworth’s about phrenology and social power).
  • A survey of a psychological phenomenon in works of nineteenth-century fiction in a particular genre (for example: “representations of reading in sensation fiction,” “mind reading in the marriage plot,” “the mad scientist in the gothic,” or “cognitive difference in the detective novel”)
  • A comparison of a particular brain or mind phenomenon in two or more works of fiction (for example: altered states, mesmerism, dreams, hallucinations, visions; particular qualities or quirks of memory; “the mind-body problem”; or sexual desire).
  • Analysis of the cognitive effects or implications of particular techniques of narration (for example–free indirect discourse, multiple narrators, or the unreliable narrator).
  • A close examination of the ways a single author draws on psychological theories or phenomenon to achieve literary aims (for example: Brontë’s use of theories of phrenology and physiognomy in Jane Eyre or the influence of evolutionary psychologist James Sully’s theory of “double consciousness” in the composition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).

Advice

Choose a topic and a set of texts that fascinate you. Challenge yourself by addressing sources that may seem daunting at first. Let the project evolve as you conduct research and learn from it; don’t be afraid to change your mind or change direction. Start early and write your essay in stages. Revise. Take feedback seriously. Revise again. And again. Think THESIS and MOTIVE. Be sure your SOURCES are reliable and relevant. Choose your EVIDENCE to advance your argument. Think of your audience as anybody interested in learning something new about psychological aspects of literature.

Note: Our “Readings” page contains a variety of readings that can help you get started with your research. You might start by scrolling through the titles there to see if anything sparks your imagination.

Formatting Guidelines

Use a 12-point font and 1” margins. Include page numbers, a title, and Works Cited list. Use MLA Style. (See link on on this site for Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab guidelines for MLA Style.)

PART TWO: WEB PROJECT

You will adapt your essay for a web format. While much or most of your essay’s content and argument will probably remain central, your adaptation will be aimed at an expanded audience: any interested readers who may happen upon your project online. The rhetorical demands of writing for the web overlap with those of writing a traditional essay, but they also differ in significant ways. With this in mind, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Structure your project for the web, creating an introductory page and a set of readable sub-pages easily navigated using a menu. See UMASS-Dartmouth suggestions for “chunking” when writing for the web.
  • Adapt the style and tone of your writing to appeal to an audience who may be unfamiliar with the texts or ideas you’re writing about.
  • Be sure you have a title that is both explanatory and catchy.
  • Include images, videos, or sound files wherever they are relevant.
  • Indicate sources using live, embedded links whenever possible.
  • Include a short “about” page introducing yourself as author.

Writing for Multimedia 

We’ll use a WordPress theme to create a collective website representing your work for the seminar. We’ll give it a name, and we’ll include an introductory page explaining what readers can expect to find when they navigate the site. We’ll decide on menu topics, and we’ll arrange your various projects according to these topics. We’ll consider how particular design elements send rhetorical messages. In addition to all this, we will work on finding ways to use multimedia elements–video, images, charts, maps, graphs, sound files, etc.–as more than windowdressing. Sometimes an image or video may simply offer readers a visual example to accompany a detail in your writing (an author photo, for example), but you should also strive to use multimedia elements to help develop and drive your argument, as texts that offer evidence or new ways of thinking about the questions you explore. The University of Massachussetts at Dartmouth offers some good advice for Writing for the Web.

Process

You’ll complete your research project in stages (see calendar):

April 1: Project proposal workshop (in class).
April 6: Send a draft of your project proposal to your writing group.
April 8: Send feedback on your peers’ proposals, using the feedback guidelines I’ll provide.
April 10: Send me your revised proposal by email. I’ll send you feedback. You will revise until I give you the go-ahead to proceed with the project.
April 29: Annotated bibliography workshop: Bring a bibliography, without annotations, to class.
May 6: Annotated bibliographies due (to me, via email).
May 11: Essay drafts due (to me and your writing group, via email)
May 13: Draft workshop
May 21: Essays due online

These stages are designed to help you make steady progress on your projects, with opportunity for reflection, feedback, revision at each stage.

Cover Letters

Submit a cover letter with each draft or revision of your essay. Use the cover letter to orient your readers—explaining what you set out to accomplish, what you still need to work on, and what kind of help you would like. Be specific. You might even include a list.

Diamonds are Forever

The Moonstone is a richly detailed mystery novel that features a massive diamond as the centerpiece for the heist. I was surprised given this the time period this novel was written in, that a gemstone took such a prominent place in the plot line. A fantastic article circulated just a little over a year ago exposing the scandal that is the psychology surrounding Diamond fanaticism. Published on the Pricenomics blog and then on Business Insider the article can be found here.

Given the way that we can be compelled to believe the hype created by a marketing campaign, driven to pay outrages sums for a lump of pressurized charcoal, valueless carbon, we seem to posses a wholesale lack of criticality. Yet, Collins understands the stickiness of certain artifacts, and creates a backstory for the diamond that was being stolen. He preempts the sentimental values that diamonds attained in the 20th century.

The motif of a valuable diamond with a storied and bloody past crops up often for it to bear further analysis. The Pink Panther for thematic example, along with the Heart of the Ocean in Titanic. One realization is that despite the renewed marketability of diamonds, they have long been valuable and have captured our imaginations. H.G. Wells’ short story The Diamond Maker experiments with the possibility of creating artificial diamonds in order to enjoy new avenues to wealth.

But what is it that makes gems, and diamonds so particularly fascinating. What makes them perfect subjects for mysteries time and time again? Feel free to hit me with your thoughts. What makes certain artifacts so interesting, and diamonds in particular. Please avoid the connotations it has with weddings and longevity as those seem to be newer connotations.

Some more on Diamonds in poetry. and in literature

Halt Unbeliever!

Within the first few pages of the prologue the story of the moonstone immediately reminded me of a ride in Disney world, which is a representation of the great Indiana Jones Movie, the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now, I’ve never actually seen the movie myself, but I’m an avid Disney World visitor, and I’ve been on the ride that has portrayed the scene many times, and let me just say there are many parallels to the story of the Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and by the story of the Gem, as told by an announcer on the Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. First, however, to set the scene of the movie ride, I’m going to explain it, just a little.

You’re sitting in a big car, with at least thirty people either in front or behind you, and the first scene is set up as backstage to an old movie set. Then, as the lights dim, a cast member, your tour guide, comes into the car and suddenly you’re set off into the world of movies ranging from Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly, until you end up in a montage of hundreds of movies, including: Shirley Temple movies, The Three Stooges, Pearl Harbor, and Nemo, just to name a few. I could literally sit here and monologue the entire script and go scene by scene, like I said, avid Disney visitor, but to stick to the topic of the novel, I’m going to jump forward to when the car is slowly pulling into the Indiana Jones scene with the gem. (Just a quick bit of backstory to understand the context of the scene in the video I’m posting below. During one of the scenes earlier,  either a bank robbery, or an old fashioned western shoot out, depending on if you got the first or second car, the car is hijacked by a “robber” and your original tour guide is lost in the world of the set, at least for now. They keep quoting that “Anything can happen in the movies.”)

As now as we enter a scene with hieroglyphics on the wall, and a red, glowing gem that is protected by a keeper. The announcer says, in a grim and warning tone: “The dust of three thousand years lies undisturbed in this ancient burial chamber. And on the chest of the great stone god, a priceless jewel!” I’ve juxtaposed this to the prologue: “Here, in a new shrine—in a hall inlaid with precious stones, under a roof supported by pillars of gold—the moon-god was set up and worshipped” (2). Once the robber sees the gem, he immediately leaves the car and heads up the stairs to where the gem is and then he is again warned by the announcer:  “But the jewel is guarded by a curse! And those who dare defy that curse … must pay with their lives.” Then the temple guardian, who is really our original driver in disguise, (which also brought forward a parallel in the text, “watched it in disguise” (2).) again warns the robber: “Halt, unbeliever! Disturb the treasure of the gods, and you shall all pay with your lives.” And in our text the two moments that I compared to that was: “The deity predicted certain disaster to the presumptuous mortal who laid hands on the sacred gem,” (2) and “the warrior who had committed the sacrilege perished miserably” (3). Needless to say the robber then goes to grab the gem and dies in a smoky, tragic death. And while Herncastle doesn’t die from touching and taking the Moonstone, the sentiments are the same.

To comment on the rest of the text, I’ve been wondering about who the speaker, Betterredge, who is talking to in the text. One of my favorite moments, and the moment that made me question who was being spoken to be: “Here follows the substance of what I said, written out entirely for your benefit. Pay attention to it, or you will be all abroad, when we get deeper into the story. Clear your mind of the children, or the dinner, or the new bonnet, or what not. Try if you can’t forget politic, horses, prices in the City, and grievances at the club. I hope you won’t take this freedom on my part amiss—it’s only a way I have of appealing to the gentle reader. Lord! Haven’t I seen you with the greatest authors in your hands, and don’t I know how ready your attention is to wander when it’s a book that asks for it, instead of a person?” (28) Is Collins actively engaging us as readers? Or is there a broader, more exact person that he’s talking to when he uses the pronoun “You” and “Your”?

Reality and Truth in The Moonstone

While reading Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, the narrative structure and voice forced me to question the idea of “truth” in the novel. The first-person narrator constantly reminds the reader that the he tells the story “in the interests of truth” (9). In the prologue, the narrator states, “And I declare, on my word of honour, that what I am now about to write is, strictly and literally, the truth” (1).  When Gabriel Betteredge takes over the narration, he describes how he would systematically recall his memories of each day with the help of Penelope’s diaries. Throughout his narration he asserts his loyalty to the “truth” (17) and dedication to relay events “as things actually happened” (20).

The meta-fictional aspects of this text strangely seems to work with this dedication to the “truth,” but also complicated it in many (obvious) ways.  Betteredge speaks directly to some “you,” or the reader, in his account within the fictional context of the novel.  Strangely, however, Betteredge seems to be story-telling more than providing an account of events for legal purposes. He also literally refers to the structure of the novel: “Cheer up! – I’ll ease you with another new chapter here – and, what is more, that chapter shall take you straight into the thick of the story” (53).  This narrative structure forced me to question the relationship between truth and reality in the novel.

I noticed another interesting passage that relates to the point. After Franklin tells Betteredge his account of Colonel’s death and questions the motive of his will, he states, “‘This question has two sides,’ he said. ‘An Objective side, and a Subjective side. Which are we to take’” (39). Ultimately, Franklin decides, “From all I can see, one interpretation is just as likely to be right as the other” (39).  This question relates to the text as a whole.  The entire “story” is related through a subjective perspective, yet claims a somewhat objective perspective.  How do you think this relationship between the reality and truth works in the text?

I found an interesting article, “The ‘Shivering Sands’ of Reality: Narration and Knowledge in Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone,” by Lewis Roberts, that begins to answer this question for me. While Roberts makes a larger-scale argument than I will relate here, he makes some interesting points that directly address my question. Roberts highlights the artificial nature of the text including Franklin Blake’s role as a “general editor” (170) and the layers of narration throughout. He highlights how these elements force the reader to question reliability and “truth.” Roberts addresses the novel’s concern with the realism and the truth: “his concern with realism is unsurprising in a detective novel, with its impulse toward uncovering the truth and reconstructing actual events; nevertheless, Collins presents us with an understanding of reality in which the familiar and the alien, the knowable and the unfathomable, are equally present” (169).  Robert’s point draws attention to his contradiction I noticed in the narration.

He highlights other binaries and contradictions that exist in the text concerning the “known” and the “unknown,” including the actual moonstone itself, the shivering sands, and even the characters: “For Collins, realism is not only a process of scientific discovery in which everything can be explained, in which all secrets will be revealed and all revelations will be apparent; but also, realism is a state of recognition of the complexities and the mysteries involved in ‘knowing’ anything” (177).  In this way, Roberts argues that Collins recognizes the “unknown” as both inseparable and integral to the “known.”

 

 

 

In-Class Writing: Dickens and the Magic Lantern

In his essay, “Dickensian Dissolving Views: The Magic Lantern, Visual Story-Tellng, and the Victorian Technological Imagination,” critic John Marsh makes two claims about Dickens’s relationship to magic lantern technology. First, he suggests that Dickens’s fiction is influenced by the magic lantern shows he loved as a child (and an adult). Second, he suggests that magic lantern technology “reconfigure(d) the human imagination” during the Victorian era.

Write a paragraph in which you put Dickens and Marsh into dialogue, in order to make a point about either the magic lantern’s influence on Dickens’s fiction or on the Victorian imagination (or both). Your job is to teach a reader of A Christmas Carol something interesting about the relationship between magic lantern shows and Dickens’s most famous and influential work of fiction.

Some advice: Draw on the techniques described in my handout, “Integrating Sources and Indicating Stance.” Choose verbs and other language carefully, to emphasize your stance. Take control of the conversation. Aim for polished prose (rather than length).

Integrating Sources & Indicating Stance

Timelines

In groups, you will compile timelines on topics of the group’s choice (for example, “Charles Dickens’s London,” “Victorian Psychology,” or “The Gothic from Mary Shelley to Oscar Wilde”). Each group will design, format, and publish its timeline on our course blog. Each student will write a short email to me describing the division of labor and process for the creation of the timeline.

Guidelines
Each group’s timeline should include the following:

  • At least ten dated entries
  • A short explanation for the significance of each entry
  • A short introduction that explains the purpose and scope of the timeline
  • Images to illustrate at least three of the entries
  • A list of sources at the end, formatted in MLA style

The following elements are optional:

  • Video to illustrate entries
  • Links to relevant online materials (including related timelines)

Format
The design of your timeline is a form of communication. As a group, you should come up with a format that is user-friendly and engaging. You will create your timeline as a “Page” on our blog. Click on “Pages” on the right side of the Dashboard and look for a page titled with the names of your group members. You’ll want to change that title to one appropriate for your timeline. We will discuss the technical procedures in class.

Groups
Kevin, Clémence, Mike
Laura, David, Katryna, Kim
Alix, Malorie, Sarah, Sunjida
Ali, Nathan, Angela, Kelsey

Published timelines are due Sunday, March 30–as are emails articulating the division of labor. The timelines will account for 10% of each student’s grade.

A Christmas Carol

“A Christmas Carol” is a timeless story. It does take place during a Victorian era, but the situation of the characters and the lessons learned at the end of this story can be applied to more recent societies. This story has become very traditional during the holidays and is shown in children films, but it does deal with poverty, guilt, and dealing with death. This story is set to take place during the holidays which should make it more touching and have a stronger connection to these spirits appearing to Scrooge and giving him a chance to change before it is too late.

I think it is ironic how Bob Cratchit is described, he is poor with many worries but kind, his situation does not make him hateful. On the other hand, the description the narrator gives us about Scrooge: “Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” He does not have a big family, and has money but he would never be generous, the narrator compares him to a flint which would not even put up a good amount of fire even if he could. From the tone of this I think that the narrator does not like Scrooge because it sounds judgmental and maybe sarcastic, like she/he does not see any good in being as “solitary as an oyster.”

“A Christmas Carol” is trying to say something about the high class society, and the working class in the Victorian era, and it is difficult to not side with the poor family. Scrooge is given a chance to say what his opinion is that should be done with the poor when he is asked for a donation, “”If they would rather die,’ said Scrooge, ‘they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides—excuse me—I don’t know that.'” He is harsh, and careless about others and the story also mentions that he does not mind that people avoid him. He needed a chance to see how people truly felt about him and it bothers him that nobody cares that he is dead, but instead they are relieved and hope their debt has died with him. I think that this story in more recent times has become traditional and picked up for being about a man who is helped to find his Christmas sprit  as shown in movies and children’s books rather than looked at as an example of a class system more, but at the same time we are reading about how a working class worries about money, and how a rich man holds on to his  wealth risking relationships and only lets it go when he sees life after his death. He sees he could have helped a struggling family. These three sprits prove their point to Scrooge and he changes when he finally falls to his knees and asks for another chance.

Even though this story does not focus on Tiny Tim, he is symbolic. He is not miserable even though he is in a bad condition. By the end of the story and Scrooges journey he becomes better and does not die the way the ghosts showed Scrooge, and they become friends. The conclusion of this story is very happy; my opinion is that the ghosts that appear could be a strong conscious Scrooge has about his personality, like a reality slap which is life changing.

dickens_village_06

This picture is from a Christmas display from a Macy’s in Philadelphia. I am pretty sure that Herald Square has put up displays about “A Christmas Carol” up but I could not find any of those pictures. During the holidays these displays are very popular and the show the whole story, this one specifically leading up to gaining generosity and holiday spirit. This picture shows the ghosts. More pictures are on this site. 

Jane Eyre and the “Madwoman in the Attic”

 The_Madwoman_in_the_AtticAccording to Janet Gezari’s  article “Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic,”  “It took about a century for the angel in the house to join forces with the madwoman in the attic.  Even when this angel occupied the foreground in nineteenth century novels, she was shadowed by her dark twin.  The monster woman rose from the depths of the attic, and her name was Bertha Mason.  While Gilbert and Gubar make it clear that their discussion concerns madness as a metaphor, not mental illness in the clinical sense, this distinction proves impossible to maintain.”

Elizabeth Donaldson wrote about this topic in her article “The Corpus of the Madwoman:  Toward a Feminist Disability Studies Theory of Embodiment and Mental Illness”.  She states that “Gilbert and Gubar argued that the ‘maddened double’ in texts by women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth century function as social surrogates, projecting women writers’ anxiety of authorship in a male dominated literary tradition.   The figure of Bertha Mason is portrayed as violent, dangerous and inhuman.  She represented a powerful model for Victorian readers, including psychiatrists.  This influenced how women were diagnosed with insanity.   Bertha represents Jane’s own feelings of oppression and suppression in a patriarchal society.  The hunger and rage that Bertha demonstrates may actually be the result of the restraint Jane feels as a silent member of society.”    Some may argue that Bronte used this forum to reflect the fantasies of female writers of the time or to perhaps make living during this era more bearable.  Shuttleworth debated  that “Bronte’s ‘mad-wife’ did not only suggest the  clear critique of the Victorian repression of the ‘innate’ forces of female sexuality, but in addition,  Bertha functions to call attention to the tenuous, fragile foundations of Jane’s imperialist claims to self-dominion.”

 According to Donaldson,  “Bertha’s madness comes from the underlying logic of physiognomy, the science or knowledge of the correspondence between the external and internal man.   This science was based on an extension of intuitive understanding, the reading of moral character through facial features.”   There are  many references about Jane as well as by Jane in the text indicating physiognomy.   I have indicated a few.

  St John and his sisters are trying to determine what Jane has been through, “She has a peculiar face;   fleshless and haggard as it is, I rather like it; and when in good health and animated, I can fancy her physiognomy would be agreeable.”  (p 289)

 They say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.  The eye may also interpret the person’s inner character as stated on page 149.   “Most true is it that ‘beauty is in the eye of the gazer.’  My master’s colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth,–all energy, decision, will,–were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me.  He made me love him without looking at me.”

This dual image reminds me of many other stories and or novels that we have read over the years which contain the “angel/devil” heroine.  Does the author use this dichotomy in order to bring to light the inner voice that is not always heard?

 

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 Characters such as Bertha and Jane demonstrate internal conflict.   Our unheard voice can manifest itself as “madness” as Berth’s character embodies.    Does Bertha’s final act, her death,  free Jane of her conflict?  Was it necessary for Bertha to die  in order for Jane to enter into a marriage of equality?  Initially I did not realize this  connection between the two characters, but after this research cannot deny the possibility.

Scrooge’d

We’ve all seen our favorite shows do their own renditions of “A Christmas Carol” but have you ever stopped and asked yourself, what would the three ghost show me? After all we all have a bit of Scrooge in us whether we want to admit it or not.  We all turned down donating to a charity, missed a few shindigs a family member or friend has thrown simply because we were just in a “Bah Humbug” mood.  I personally have become quite the Scrooge around the holidays simply because I’ve worked in a retail store for six years and Christmas time felt more like doomsday for me.  Fortunately for me I made it out of working retail alive and can now truly enjoy and appreciate the joys of the holidays.
Growing up Christmas was about God and going to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, as got older it became more then just that.After reading A Christmas Carol I was surprised that the religious aspect of Christmas wasn’t really displayed, it had more of a modern twist to it.  I expected religion to be a major part of the novel because it did take place in Victorian England.  I appreciated that it was more about the joys of Christmas like giving, spending time with loved ones and being generous and kind to others.  Dickens characterization of the Crachit family really opens the readers eyes to what is truly important in life.  Having wealth means nothing if you don’t have anyone to share it with.  If the Crachit’s don’t make you appreciate life for the little things I don’t know what will.  The Crachit’s are the perfect way to bring anyone back to reality who get wrapped in the craziness of the holiday season who let buying the perfect get in the way of spending time with loved ones.
The use of the ghosts helps people to take the time to step of themselves and and take the time to re evaluate the person they become.  The ghost of Christmas past who represents memory, shows Scrooge that he was once a kind hearted person which gets him to question himself about why he’s become the way he is. The ghost takes him in a step by step journey through his life showing him how he went from loving person to a greedy business man.  Don’t you wish you were the ghost of  Christmas past and bring the Scrooge in your life on a journey through time to bring them back to reality?  I know I do.  With the ghost of present helps Scrooge to have empathy for the people he thought so little of.  He is brought to the Crachit’s home and sees how they are living and what they go through and they still are kind and loving to one another while he has achieved everything he’s wanted too and is still a grumpy old man.  The Crachit’s are Dickens way of showing how the poor are just swept underneath the table because of their social status and open the readers eyes to what is happening in world.  Even in today’s society it’s easy to just walk past a homeless person on the street and not have a second thought on what their lives are like.  But if people took the time to speak to them maybe they would see that they are not much different then anyone else they just have bigger problems and find a way to help even it’s small.  Lastly the ghost of Christmas yet to come shows him how his past actions have led him to not be respected even as a deadman. Your legacy is made by the person you were while you were alive and Scrooge wasn’t the best person so it was no surprise that people were cursing his name when he died.  Dickens wrote the perfect manual on how to be a a good person in the world but disguised it as a Christmas Carol.  Each ghost represented a different part of life and showed what values should be held a a higher standard and those that shouldn’t be as important.  Dickens wrote a timeless piece that could be relatable to anyone of any generation.  Now again I ask, what would the three ghost show you?